Wait! Stop! Put your wallet away! Thanks for your generosity and all that, but Blogtober isn’t actually A Thing. Yet. Today, on my first venture out of the house in four days (yay for Christmas laziness!) I saw a billboard advert for something called Dryathlon. Rather than something involving towels, umbrellas, or my sense of humor, as I first thought, Dryathlon is actually a challenge you can set for yourself to not drink alcohol throughout January, donating money that you save (and money from those who sponsor you to undertake the challenge), to Cancer Research.
I tried to coerce my partner into joining me in attempting, and getting sponsored for, Dryathlon. With the exception of an already-planned weekend away, he seemed up for the idea – however he did suggest that we do it in another month, making the very true point that ‘money donated to charity is money donated to charity; it doesn’t matter which month it is in’.
Of course this is true, however there is a reason that these ‘charity challenge months’ are growing in number and popularity. Generally, the ‘activity’ which one gets sponsored to do is something which usually, no one would sponsor you to do, if you did it outside of one of these specially designated and advertised Months. If a man asked you for a charitable donation for Cancer Research during April (which happens a lot, what with the rise of the Chugger and all of that), you may very well make a donation, or you may not – my point is that whether or not you donated probably wouldn’t depend on whether or not the man was harbouring an upper-lip caterpillar (actually, maybe it would for me personally, but then that’s just because I have a well-publicised Thing for moustaches). If your friend was on the OJs on a night out while the rest of you were dribbling Jagerbombs down your chins, you probably wouldn’t round off the night by giving them a tenner to give to charity. But package it into a well-designed well-advertised fundraising campaign with a catchy soundbite of a name, and suddenly it’s all the rage. (Which, by the way, I think is definitely a Good Thing – please see the little disclaimery bit below if you’re about to have a go at me for having a go at charity)*.
If three months of charitable sponsorship just aren’t enough for you (less than three if you don’t smoke, don’t drink, and/or are challenged in the facial-hair-sprouting department), don’t worry! I have devised a catchily-named activity for every month of the year to raise funds for your chosen charity. In addition to being easy and accessible to everyone, some of them have the additional benefit or making you appear Quite Mad. Enjoy!
Manuary – If you are a female, get sponsored to subscribe to traditional heterosexual male gender normative roles for the entire month. If you are a woman or a man who already does this, keep doing it, but demand charitable donations for your ‘efforts’.
Flabuary. Eat carbs and ditch the gym. If, like me, this pretty much describes your entire lifestyle anyway, keep doing it, but as above, demand Cash for Causes.
The Great March March. This one is easy. Persuade your friends and loved ones to fling dollar in a charity-wards direction in exchange for you marching instead of walking for the whole month. Extra donations can be claimed if you decide to stand to attention every time your mobile rings.
April Showers – Collect donations to support your undertaking of the ‘April Showers Challenge’; despite the name, this involves not showering for the whole month. Encourage extra donations by telling donors you will stay out of ‘smelling distance’ from them if you meet your target.
Mayday! Mayday! – Get sponsored to be in a constant state of panicked alarm. All. The. Time.
Moon June – Collect sponsorship money for flashing your arse at every opportunity. £1 a pop.
Julie – Tell everyone you meet this month that your name is Julie, regardless of gender. Reveal your true name at the end of the month and demand sponsor money from all those who were duped. (NB: if your name actually IS Julie, your challenge is convince everyone your name is Alan).
Boregust – Collect sponsorship for pretending you are extremely bored during every social (or work-related) encounter you have this month. Extra donations can be claimed for falling asleep and snoring (Snoregust-Boregust). Also when you ‘wake up’, demand donation money from the ‘boring’ (and probably quite offended) party as compensation for having to put up with their utterly uncharismatic conversation.
Slaptember – get sponsored to be slapped at least once by everyone you encounter.
Slobtober – Get £££ for ZZZ. And food-stained tracksuits becoming your only wardrobe choice. And using one of those grabby claw on a stick things to reach the remote control.
NonoNOvember – Have you ever seen the film ‘Yes Man’? If not, go see it, because it’s very good. And read the book as well, because it’s probably also very good, I haven’t read it yet, but Danny Wallace is brilliant. Anyway, this month’s sponsorship challenge takes the concept from Yes Man and flips it on its head – basically say NO to everything anyone asks you for the whole month. (Exception – you are allowed to say ‘yes’ if they ask you if you want them to sponsor you…otherwise the whole thing just wouldn’t work, really).
Dancember – As with The Great March March, you will not have to walk anywhere this month. However you will have to dance everywhere that you would have walked. Boogie!
*The Little Disclaimery Bit
Please note – It is not my intention to mock or undermine the work of any charity or charity campaign, or anyone who takes part in them. It IS, as ever, my intention to be Very Silly and suggest a few (hopefully) amusing things which, by the way, you most definitely should NOT try at home. I personally think Stoptober, Movember, Dryathlon, and everything of that ilk are very good ideas, and having been unable to take part in two of those last year (due to being a non-smoker and the fact that, sadly, moustaches seem to be an unacceptable type of hair choice for a twenty-something year old woman in London – if anyone dares mention that I sometimes have those ‘your-Veet-session-is-well-overdue-love’ days, I will headbutt you), I will definitely be taking part in the Dryathlon…watch this space for JustGiving page details.
Happy Spew Year, everybody! (Get sponsored to chunder everywhere as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st) xxx